I’ve said before that I’m not a particularly big fan of Apple’s bloated iTunes offering, and to be honest, that really hasn’t changed at all over the years. Of course owning an iPod means that I thus need to use some other 3rd party application to manage the music on my MP3 player, and pleasingly enough, I recently stumbled across one such application that has kind of quickly wormed its way into being my number one music player, music library, and iPod manager – all rolled into one silky smooth package!
MediaMonkey is a slick, feature-packed media player and media library written for the Windows operating system. Outside of actually playing back music from a variety of sources and formats, MediaMonkey has a ton of cool tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to auto tag your MP3s for you, identify tracks and manage music libraries, rip audio CDs, synch with various Apple iPods, iPads, Android devices, and general MP3 players, automatic volume leveling, and not to mention the ability to share Audio/Video files with TVs, BD Players, and other UPnP/DLNA devices.
Seriously, I like this one a lot.
Related Link: http://www.mediamonkey.com/
So a little while ago I decided to relocate the handy chest of drawers from the office to the braai room in order to provide more storage space for Chantelle’s burgeoning baking supplies. Of course, this in turn meant a sorting out of some of the existing drawers in the study to make space for the items coming over from the chest of drawers, an unenviable task of sorting out and discarding in other words (made particularly difficult by the fact that these are all “man drawers”).
In the process of cleaning up my drawers, I came across quite a large selection of old in-ear earphone sets collected over the years, and based on the fact that they’ve been lying dormant in the drawers for so long already, I without hesitation chucked them out.
Needless to say, the next day on arrival at work, I discovered that my iPod Nano’s earphones had somehow inexplicably been crushed in transit (well, they were four years old already), rendering me earphone-less for the day, and with the stomach-sinking knowledge that I had just tossed out all of my possible replacements the evening before!
I quickly turned to online shopping to order another pair, and after paying over my money to Takealot.com, I realized that the combination of upcoming public holidays in April meant a heavy delay in delivery date. Not cool.
Back home I rummaged through a couple of other drawers in the office which I had yet to get to, and came up with a two sets of in-ear headphones which I had missed in the previous clean-up sweep, the one being a pretty good quality set at that.
Pleased with the fact that I now had a functional iPod again, disaster struck the next day when an ill-placed decision to punch the punching bag out of frustration with Jessica (who wouldn’t stop crying and with no mommy in sight), resulted in the cord of the ear piece being caught in my punch and the earphones being literally torn apart in a single punch.
And to my dismay, the second set of earphones which I had retrieved from the dark recesses of my drawers wasn’t functional, meaning that I now sat with no earphones whatsoever!
Thank goodness for the old universal 3.5 mm audio jack though, as I still had one alternative left to me – a dusty old set of over the ear headphones I used to use back in the day when I didn’t want the PC to disturb anyone, and praise be to the heavens, they actually still worked!
Now I’ll admit it looks a bit silly going for a jog with these fluffy ear muffs on, but at least they work and I have music in my life again – Just a pity that they stay so damp with sweat for so long after every morning jog!
And for the record, I’m still waiting for my order from Takealot.com to come in…
You have got to love this so-called iPod variant cover for 2009’s Thor issue 601, penned by JMS (or Joseph Michael Straczynski as he is more formally known), with interior work by Marko Djurdjevic and inks by Danny Miki.
Entitled “Defining Moments”, German comic book artist Marko Djurdjevic provides the perfect era contrast as we have the ageless Norse God Thor, using probably one of the most decade-defining pieces of technology emerging out of the 2000’s, the Apple iPod.
I have a shiny red 4th generation 4GB iPod Nano (special HIV/AIDS edition) that was gifted to me on my parting from Commerce I.T. after 7 years of loyal service to them. It’s a great little MP3 and video player, perfect for the gym in fact.
So you can imagine my frustration in getting home after a long day at work, whipping out the iPod Nano from my gym bag in order to update its track listing, only to find it completely dead as a doornail.
Crap. Despondent, I lamented the issue of FaceBook and within a couple of minutes, my phone rang with my brother on the line. “Have you tried doing a hard reset yet?”
Eh? While not listed in the manual, there is in fact a way to reset your iPod Nano which should hopefully allow it to restore itself to working order and get out of its brick-like crash mode.
To perform the reset is remarkably simple once you know how. First, lock the iPod and then unlock the iPod in the usual fashion. Once unlocked, press and hold both the top menu button as well as the centre circle button together for about 15 seconds. At the end of this period, the Apple logo should show up on the screen.
A couple of seconds later, you will be back in action, ready to be entertained as if there was nothing ever wrong in the first place.
I am not a particularly big media consumer, especially when it comes to my iPod, but I do enjoy taking it along to my gym sessions to keep my mind nice and distracted while I work up a sweat. Now while iTunes is the default way for managing your little music box in the Windows realm, it is definitely one of the more bloated software solutions out there, and so one that I try to avoid installing at all costs.
Enter my new favourite iPod management software tool, the extremely lightweight and free to use CopyTrans Manager!
CopyTrans Manager is a full iPod management suite, allowing you to add or remove music, video, podcast files at will, alter playlists, add album artwork, edit tags and even synchronize your device. Weighing in at under 3 MB, by far the coolest feature is that you can run it directly from your iPod itself, meaning that you can manage your iPod’s contents no matter which computer you plug it into!
And did I mention it is free?
Bottom line, it is pretty damn awesome – And that is extremely nifty in my book! :)
Now that I enjoy watching animated television shows while I work out at gym, the process of converting my DVDs to iPod MP4 video files has begun in earnest! One of the last problems I encountered dealt with the lack of info tags on my converted files, meaning that the iPod wasn’t giving me any decent information on any of my newly added files. Enter Mp3tag – the universal Tag Editor!
Mp3tag is a powerful and easy-to-use tool designed to quickly edit metadata for most common audio and video formats where ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, iTunes MP4, WMA, Vorbis Comments or APE Tags are supported.
It can rename files based on the tag information, replace characters or words in tags and filenames, import/export tag information, create playlists, etc. – essentially the Swiss army knife of video/audio file tagging.
Creating basic name tags for your MP4 video files is as simple as dragging and dropping the files into the interface and selecting the generate tag from filename option, selecting the matching pattern to apply.
Simple, efficient and ultimately just nifty.
At the moment I quite enjoying watching television shows on my iPod while working out at gym. Of course to get these television show episodes on my little iPod, I first need to rip them off my DVDs and convert them into MP4 – which of course results in one long video file which is of no use to anyone.
So how do I split my MP4 video files into episode chunks for the iPod?
Enter YAMB, standing for “Yet another MP4Box user interface for Windows users”.
Although a slightly buggy and prone to crashing every now and then application, YAMB does a lot of good video editing work with its implementation of the powerful MP4Box software, and one of its functions that I enjoy the most is the ability to split a MP4 file in a number of different ways.
To split is remarkably easy. Select the split function from the video edit menu, load the file to split, select the desired points to split, be it a space in time, by size or by duration, and hit the split button.
The application then proceeds to neatly cut up the file to your specification and voila, bite-sized episode chunks for you iPod!